One of the most infamously satirical virtual reality games — Job Simulator — is on sale today in the Meta Quest and Steam stores for under $20, or 40% off. If you haven’t played this working simulator before, you should absolutely check it out. Job Simulator is one of those games where players get to work in retail, from the comfort of their own homes. It’s a satire on what work life is really like. And in a year when layoffs have been so plentiful, a little mockery of the tropes we hate can go a long way.
Look, I don’t know about you, but this year, a lot of people around me have lost their white collar jobs, and they’re constantly asking me where they can find a new one. I even created a group chat in hopes everyone can help one another out. It’s been a depressing financial landscape for some, although the broader unemployment rate rests at 3.9 percent, and sometimes a little levity can help. Job Simulator, which originally came out in 2016 on Valve’s Steam VR, and then on Meta’s Quest VR headset in 2019, pokes fun at what it means to be a worker in today’s economy.
In Job Simulator, you can get robbed at gunpoint at the cash register, eat donuts with your robot colleagues, or just toss a bunch of food on the ground and hope nobody notices. What’s not to love? The developers have imagined a world in which robots have basically replaced most humans. You can choose to obey your robot overlords or reject their tiresome demands, smash tomatoes, and eat trash.
Personally, I’ve spent the better part of this year job hunting myself, so coming back to work, it’s been enjoyable to sit back in an office, have some coffee and chat with colleagues in person. Small simple tasks that we once took for granted are actually quite pleasurable, once you haven’t done them at all for some time. Still, every position has its pitfalls, and Job Simulator happily reminds you of them, such as needing to appease food critics when you work as a gourmet chef, or being called upon to push papers as a lowly office worker.
Since it’s all not real, you get twice the excitement of going to work, can skip the commute, and show everyone your best (or worst!) behavior with no consequences. And what if you get tired? There’s an infinite Overtime mode so that you can work a night shift that never ends, and if that’s not enough, the developers also made a Vacation version of this game so you can start your dystopian time off, as well. Video game developers often make some of the most biting critiques of what it means to work, but in Job Simulator, it’s all in good fun. So go ahead and enjoy your social commentary with a side of hanging out in virtual reality.